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Chopper With 7 On Board, Including ONGC Employees, Loses Contact With Air Traffic Control Near Mumbai

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MUMBAI: A private helicopter with eight people -- including two pilots -- on board has lost contact with Air Traffic Control near Mumbai.

Sources said the chopper -- a VTPWA Dauphin AS 365 N3 which is seven year old -- took off from Juhu at 10.20 am. It last contacted the Air Traffic Control at 10. 35 am. At the time, it was 30 nautical miles off Mumbai.

Among the passengers were some officials of the Oil And Natural Gas Corporation or ONGC. It was headed for the Mumbai High North Field and was expected to land there before 11 am.

The Coast Guard has been alerted and  a search operation is on, the sources said. "We have already diverted ship and aircraft to the area," an officer said.  

More details are awaited.
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